AMD unveils business desktop platform

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AMD unveils business desktop platform

AMD has introduced a new business desktop platform that promises longer stability for enterprise customers, better energy efficiency and compatibility with new open management standards.

Vendors including Dell, HP and Fujitsu-Siemens have announced models based around the new platform.

The AMD Business Class brand combines single-core to quad-core processors with AMD's 780V or Nvidia's MCP78 chipset and is set to challenge Intel's dominance of the corporate desktop.

"We're targeting the entire commercial client market," said David Diedrichs, product marketing manager for commercial platforms in EMEA. He added that AMD was building on its enterprise experience gained from its Opteron line of server chips.

The processors used in the new platform will have availability for 24 months, according to Diedrichs, while the chipset will be stable for at least 18 months. A choice of processors from single-core and dual-core Athlons to triple-core and quad-core Phenom chips enables vendors to target entry level desktops right up to workstation-class systems, he added.

A key point for IT departments is that the new platform is compatible with management standards such as ASF 2.0 and the DASH 1.1 specifications from the Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF). Together, these provide many of the same capabilities as the Active Management Technology (AMT) in Intel's vPro platform.

Diedrichs said that ASF provides the capability for remote management, while later this year systems with DASH 1.1 will support so-called out-of-band management, where administrators can access them even if the operating system will not boot. This is a key selling point of Intel's vPro, but while vPro is proprietary, AMD is backing open standards, Diedrichs said.

Vendor support for AMD's new brand has been swift, with HP announcing the HP Compaq dc5850 desktop, while Dell has refreshed its existing OptiPlex 740 system with the new platform. Fujitsu-Siemens unveiled its Esprimo P5625 and E5625 desktops based on a BTX and small form-factor chassis, respectively.

AMD also confirmed its forthcoming laptop platform will share many of the features of the Business Class desktop brand. Codenamed 'Puma', this is set to launch by Q3 2008 at the latest, according to Diedrichs.
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